My Dearest Love, and My Greatest Enemy
The clock's hand moved in unison to a constant sound, almost like a physical reminder that a 'tomorrow' exists.
My muscles tensed upon my wake, and a familiar heaviness weighed down on my chest as I pried open my eyes. I didn't know since when, but a dreadful, drowning feeling cursed upon me wherever I went. I stopped being able to breathe fully without an air of dread.
....Maybe it was since that doctor's visit a few years ago.
Having no choice about my situation, I kicked off my blankets groggily and prepared to walk to work.
It was an excruciating summer. The crickets seemed to mock me as sweat covered the crevices of my neck— and butterflies surrounded the struggling flowers along the path which were fighting for a chance to bloom.
It was then, when my mind drifts off to a distant past...
“Are you going home?” a small voice echoes, urging me to stay.
It was a memory of when I was a child- about 10 years old. My father owned an antique clock shop, next to a shop that sold art supplies. The owners of that shop were the foster parents of my only friend.
I often played with my friend, much to the dismay of my father. He wanted me to take over his store- and to not indulge myself in paints and canvases. So, I played with her in a secret field of flowers, butterflies surrounding us while we let our imaginations run wild.
Gradually, my time with her became my most precious treasure.
Even the paints— it covered the flowers and left a wonderful trial of rainbow. Her smile rose as bright as the sun; giving me comfort from the chains of the person I called my father.
One day, however, she stopped appearing at our usual meeting spot. No matter how much I waited and waited, she was never there.
“She died from abuse.” was the only explanation given to me.
Eventually, the field wasn’t so colourful anymore. The once beautiful butterflies were dyed a deep crimson red, and the only image my paintbrush depicted were splashes of colour that seemed monochrome to me.
Her face, her voice, her eyes, they were all dyed in a deep red splatter, and I could never recall what she originally looked like.
I couldn’t stand the sound of the clocks. It reminded me of every second that passed...
Of the world without her.
“But, you have a replacement, don’t you?” a certain voice interrupts my thoughts.
No. I shrugged off these memories, looking away from the ground. Carrying the weight of heavy steps, I trudged into my office.
As I continued the rest of the day typing in mechanical motions, my mind was filled with thoughts of my current lover. Her eyes, and the black void in her irises that ignited a magnetic force to pull me in...
"Are you feeling sick?"
A voice interrupts my train of thought. It's my colleague.
"Oh...no, I'm not sick." I replied. His eyebrows furrowed into a disdainful relief.
"If you're not, finish this by the end of the month.” He instructed, dumping a pile of work onto my desk.
I felt a sinking, draining feeling pulling down on my gut as I struggle to stammer out words of refusal.
“But...it’s the Obon vacation season.” I refuted with no avail. My coworker stares at me disapprovingly, ignoring my cues and leaving without a word.
What was I expecting? It was always like this.
Every time during these awful moments, I could remember her face clearly; her expressions, her smile that seemed to wrap around the solitude that was collapsing onto my mind. Even if it’s just for a bit, I didn’t feel so alone in a world against us.
If only I had a picture of her....
I scrambled through my phone to find something. I knew I took some, but yet again, there was none to be found. It was a strange phenomenon—every photo I took of us never seemed to appear again.
Just then- an image of our first meeting flashes across my mind, the sight I dreaded yet held with insurmountable significance distracted me from the thoughts I was having.
On that day when we first met, It was the first time in a long while that I tasted the warm aura of kindness.
It was after an exhausting day at work. The sight I saw at the rooftop of my apartment was something to behold; an angelic figure that seemed to have fallen into calamity.
It was that moment when I saw her attempt for the end that carved her existence into mine.
And it was also the moment that she cried upon seeing my injury- despite saving her from the fall to death, that was etched permanently into my mind.
Absolutely no one, not a single person, had cried tears for my sake before.
Maybe it was pity, or maybe she resembled my childhood love, that I started to feel such love towards this girl.
Why are things decorated with the allure of death so much more beautiful as compared to the givings of life?
Even her—the very embodiment of Thanatos, the angel of an endless void, of constant nothingness; the pull was almost magnetic....
Perhaps I’m the one who is governed by the sirens of her god.
The dread creeped up my neck, but it gave me no time to think as a LINE message popped up onto my screen.
Immediately, I knew I had to go. It was another suicide attempt. I ran as fast as I could.
As my hands clutched tightly to the fabric of her sleeves yet again, I couldn’t help but recall the previous time she attempted this. I was desperate to no means and confusion lined my words.
“Why? I love you, so why would you want to leave again?”
Under the blanket of a cascading night, the eerie moonlight gently illuminated her face as she turned to look at me. Her lips upturned into a smile I could not explain with words; and I shuddered.
“Because death is a void that erases all pain.” She simply answered.
Her words resonated me, shaking my core to the very bones of my body. I couldn’t comprehend the feelings that arose in the pit of my belly, it was a gurgling fire that could not be extinguished. I’ve never felt so alive amidst a face-off with death.
Is the void away from pain worth losing the opportunity of happiness?
As my mind returned to the current situation in front of me, I turned to look at the small reflection of the bedroom mirror placed opposite of her, the glaring light almost blinding me of the horrifying truth.
But to be honest....I already knew. Her allure however, was too great to pull away from.
The reflection on that mirror showed absolutely nothing.
Nothingness, just like the beautiful void she sang about.
Just like the god she sang to.
I closed my eyes, the stinging pain rising to my head. I opened them again to look closely at her, her compelling force dragging me deeper into a point of no return.
“Deeper.....deeper so you can’t turn back.” A voice cradles my mind.
Suddenly, the only road ahead that I could envision was a terrifying pitch black; the light slowly diminishing like a wavering flame as I held tightly to her hand.
Several images of countless uneaten pills that scattered onto my crimson dyed bedsheets, razors, the doctor’s diagnosis, the voices that constantly whispered sweet nothings of her, and only her.
Everything was turning red.
Thanatos, my dearest love, and my greatest enemy.
My sight refocuses on her expression, and it was the first time I ever saw relief behind her knowing smile. Did I.....did I say that I wanted to die, as well...?
“So...you finally figured it out?” Her eyes lit up for the first time.
Flashes of my horrible childhood, crossed-out faces in burned pictures, wilting flowers, monochrome paint splatters, it wiped out all of my hesitation. I knew what I had to do.
“Yeah, let’s go.”
I look into the mirror for a final time, confirming that the girl I loved so much was nothing but a god of void. But, it didn’t matter anymore. Nothing matters anymore.
At least I wouldn’t let her die alone.
At least I wouldn’t be alone.
My dearest love, my greatest enemy.
She held my hand tightly, feet bound onto the metallic railing that was my final obstacle. I took a deep breath.
A void, of absolute nothingness, of absolute peace. I smiled as the pain slowly dissipates from my soul.
My dearest love, my greatest enemy.
I’ll race you to the night sky.